Kalman Oravetz

Obituary of Kalman Oravetz

Kalman Anthony Oravetz, 99, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at Franciscan Oaks Health Center in Denville, NJ. His sharp mind, intense work ethic, and calm kindness left a legacy of excellence wherever he went.


Born to immigrant Hungarian parents—the late Anthony and Anna Oravetz—in Newark, he was raised in the Vailsburg section of Newark with his brothers Ernest and Albert, and in Irvington. During the difficult years of the Depression, he took advantage of an opportunity to study at the University of Kansas, where he participated in ROTC, graduated in 1940—and became a life-long devoted Jayhawk. In 1942, he graduated from the NYU School of Law and was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York. One month later, Kalman was drafted to serve in WWII, Kal’s interests and talents lead to assignments first in the Army Air Corps and later in the US Army Civil Affairs, where he thrived and excelled. During his four years of active duty and thirty in the U.S. Army Reserve, he rose to the rank of Colonel and received many honors, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Chevalier French Legion of Honor, U.S. Army Reserve Medal for Achievement, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Two Service Bars. He remained very active the Civil Affairs Association his whole life.


While achieving so much for our country, he was also succeeding as an attorney, specializing in real estate law: in 1973, he was made partner at Hughes, Hubbard, & Reed in NYC, working actively at the firm for 26 years. He was a member of both the Bar of the State of New York and the Bar State of New Jersey.


Kalman married the beautiful Elsie Doma in 1948; the couple settled first in Brooklyn, NY, then, in 1954, in Millburn, NJ, where they had a much-loved daughter, Helen, on their sixth anniversary. Kalman took a great interest in his local community, serving as a member of the Millburn Township Committee, Millburn Art Advisory Committee (he remained active even after moving to Franciscan Oaks), the Vestry of St. George’s Church in Maplewood, and the Wyoming (Tennis) Club; he served as president of Wyoming Civic Association, and president of the Millburn Short Hills Old Guard (he remained a member until his death); he also served as counsel for the Millburn Short Hills Art Center.


Kalman was a phenomenal man, friend, son, husband, father, and brother. His legacy of hard work, service and love will live on in our hearts and souls forever.


Predeceased by his beloved wife, Elsie, his brother Ernest, and in-laws, Julia Oravetz, Alan and Helen Godfrey, and Florence Oravetz, he is survived by his dearly-loved daughter, Helen Bassler and her husband, Tom; his faithful older brother, Albert Oravetz (age 101); 8 nieces, 1 nephew, cousins both here and in Hungary; and many wonderful grandnieces and grandnephews.


Kalman’s ashes will be interred in with a simple and brief ceremony in the memorial garden at St. George’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, July 23, 2017, at 11:45 a.m., following the regular morning service at 10:30 a.m.  Anyone who wishes to attend are welcome to join us for the church service at 10:30, or arrive by 11:45.   We are also grateful for any who join us in spirit and prayer as his ashes are laid to rest with his beloved Elsie.

St. George’s Episcopal Church
550 Ridgewood Rd.
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Parish office phone 973-762-1319

Memorial donations can be made in his memory to St. George’s. Please leave a condolence for his family.